BIRMINGHAM, England -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to limit its U.S. lineup to the 500 family and the upcoming 124 two-seat roadster. Fiat brand chief Olivier Francois said other vehicles wouldn't "fit into the brand."
"We built good brand equity ... around Fiat," Francois said at the Automotive News Europe Congress here. "I am not going to force a product that doesn't fit into the brand."
The Fiat 500 two-door hatchback debuted in the U.S. in 2011. Initial sales were less than targeted because of a slow dealer rollout, but the 500 has found its niche as a city car. The 500 range has been expanded to include the four-door 500L and 500X crossovers. Fiat 500 family sales in North America totaled 58,775 last year.
"We have to be realistic. I am not going to move the needle on sales in the North American market share with Fiat," Francois said. "So I am not going to force the issue of what the brand stands for."
The 124, based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, is expected to debut in the U.S. early next year while new generations of the 500 family also will "hopefully go to America," he said.
On July 4 in Turin, Fiat will unveil the first substantial revamp of the 500 two-door hatchback since it debuted eight years ago. The exterior will get new front and rear ends while the interior will add a multimedia thin-film transistor display.